Derbyshire v Durham MCCU at The 3aaa County Ground on 1st to 3rd April 2014
By John Brown
Derbyshire started their first-class season at The 3aaa County Ground against Durham MCCU on a warm and sunny spring day.
Wayne Madsen won the toss and chose to field first, after which the Derbyshire bowlers made early inroads into the students’ batting line-up. The university team included eight players who were making their first-class debuts, and they struggled against the persistent Derbyshire pace attack.
Durham were bowled out shortly before lunch for 67 with Tim Groenewald having taken five wickets for 27 runs while Mark Footitt and Jonathan Clare claimed two victims apiece.
Stephen Moore, newly recruited from Lancashire, and Billy Godleman played well together and they had added 152 for the first wicket before Moore was caught at short-leg for 73. Godleman fell a few overs later for 74, the first time he had been dismissed in 2014, after making two undefeated hundreds in the warm-up games in March.
Wayne Madsen was joined by Shivnarine Chanderpaul, recently returned from the Caribbean, and together they added sixty-one before Madsen was defeated by a ball which moved into him from the off. Chanderpaul continued to bat in typical obdurate and watchful fashion in company with Chesney Hughes: they put on 141 for the fourth wicket before Hughes was caught on the square-leg boundary for a well-crafted 53.
Derbyshire seemed determined to make the most of the opportunity to take batting practice, so it came as something of a surprise when Chanderpaul mistimed an attempted pull to be caught on the long-leg boundary for 91 just before lunch on the second day. Derbyshire’s last seven wickets fell while only 52 runs were added, but they will have been reasonably satisfied with their final total of 428 which gave them a comfortable first-innings lead of 361. There were a remarkable 71 extras in Derbyshire’s total, believed to be the highest conceded in any innings involving a university team.
In the students’ second innings Groenewald took an early wicket but Steel and Bishnoi were still together when rain started to fall at 3.30pm – 33 for one – and there was no more play on that day.
On the third morning for the second day running the lights were on, due chiefly to the air pollution caused by the desert dust which had been blown over the country from North Africa. Derbyshire had high hopes of dismissing the University side in quick time on the third day, but the overnight pair concentrated entirely on defence and took their team through to lunch without being parted.
They continued their resistance after the interval until Hughes and Durston captured three wickets in three overs while only four runs were scored. Tony Palladino captured two more wickets in quick succession and thus took his 250th first-class wicket.
Bishnoi and Steele stayed together until tea at which point Derbyshire had high hopes of winning the match: only twenty minutes after the interval the umpires decided that the light had deteriorated so much that they took the players off the field and forty minutes later the match was abandoned as a draw.
It had been a useful workout for Derbyshire, although it was frustrating that the freak weather conditions had denied them the chance of completing a well-deserved win. They start their championship season with two away matches against Leicestershire and Essex on the next two Sundays.
Durham MCCU 67 (26.1 overs) (TD Groenewald 5 for 27, JL Clare 2 for 6, MHA Footitt 2 for 16) and 158 for 6 (78 overs) (C Bishnoi 65, CT Steel 44, AE Paraam 22*; AP Palladino 2 for 26, CF Hughes 2 for 37)
Derbyshire 428 (94.5 overs) (S Chanderpaul 91, SC Moore 73, BA Godleman 67, CF Hughes 53, WL Madsen 42; TD Alexander 4 for 80, L Dixon 3 for 92)
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